Dental clinic owner sentenced for tax fraud

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A Marshfield man, who co-owned a chain of area dental clinics, including one in Bolivar, was sentenced Tuesday, Feb. 4, to two years and eight months in federal prison without parole for his role in several financial fraud schemes.

According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office of the Western District of Missouri, Lorin G. Van Drie, 61, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool after being convicted in February 2019 of stealing public money, participating in a conspiracy to defraud the government and 18 counts of failing to pay over employment taxes.

The court also ordered him to pay restitution in an amount yet to be determined, the release stated.

According to the release, in addition to the payroll tax conspiracy, Van Drie was also found guilty of one count of theft of public money related to $26,880 in unemployment benefits that he was not entitled to receive from October 2010 through June 2012. 

Van Drie’s wife, Pamela Van Drie, was sentenced in October to four years and nine months in federal prison without parole for her role in the schemes.

The court also ordered her to pay $1,139,794 in restitution.

Together, the couple were convicted last year of all 40 counts contained in a federal indictment, the release stated.

The two owned All About Smiles, LLC, a Springfield company that provided dental services at clinics in Springfield, Mountain Grove and Bolivar. The last clinic closed in 2015. According to the release, they also owned PL Family Management Company LLC, which managed the staff for the clinics.

According to the release, between 2013 and 2015, the Van Dries failed to pay over to the IRS about $194,751 in payroll taxes, despite withholding the taxes from employee checks. 

The couple “diverted a substantial amount of money from their businesses during this period,” living a “lavish lifestyle while some of their employees’ paychecks bounced,” the release stated.

Multiple vehicles, vacations, a boat, trailers, golf carts and a motorcycle were purchased, the release stated, including “a pulling truck called ‘Momma’s Money,’ which their son used in pulling competitions throughout Missouri.”

Health care fraud scheme

According to the release, Lorin Van Drie was not charged with health care fraud like his wife, however, “he was aware of the schemes and that the billing practices of his companies violated Medicaid regulations.”

According to the release, Pamela Van Drie participated in a conspiracy to commit health care fraud from Oct. 6, 2010, to Aug. 19, 2015. 

The release said Pamela Van Drie and James R. Dye, a dentist at the clinics, arranged for All About Smiles to provide dentures and other dental services to adults who did not qualify for Medicaid reimbursement. They submitted claims to Medicaid for those dentures and other dental services, knowing that Medicaid’s requirements were not met.

Through All About Smiles, Pamela Van Drie submitted and received $720,048 on numerous claims for dentures and other dental services that lacked the required written referral from a physician, the release said.

Additionally, Pamela Van Drie and Dye purchased Ortho-Tain orthodontic appliances, designed to straighten teeth without braces, for about $50 each, provided them to Medicaid pediatric beneficiaries and billed each such appliance to Medicaid as a speech aid prosthesis for around $695, the release said. 

Between Oct. 6, 2010, and Aug. 19, 2015, the release said Pamela Van Drie submitted and received payment for around 241 claims submitted for speech aid prosthesis. On each claim, All About Smiles, or its predecessor company, was paid between $675 to $695, for a total amount of around $165,700.

Dye pleaded guilty on Feb. 11, 2016, to healthcare fraud in a separate but related case, the release said.

According to the release Pamela Van Drie was also found guilty of one count of theft of public money related to $3,520 in unemployment benefits that she was not entitled to receive.

From June 2012 through January 2013, Pamela Van Drie falsely certified to the Missouri Department of Employment Security 31 times that she was not employed, was available and searching for work, and was not receiving any type of employment income. 

The release stated Van Drie took a weeklong vacation to Florida during that period.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cindi S. Woolery and Steve Mohlhenrich and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Shannon Kempf of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. 

It was investigated by Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and IRS-Criminal Investigation.

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